Is It Possible To Take Weed Without Getting Addicted
Todays marijuana is quite a bit different than the marijuana that people used 25 years ago. It contains about three times the amount of THC, the main ingredient that creates the high sensation, than it did just a couple of decades ago. While theres no research demonstrating the effects that these higher THC levels have on the brain, many scientists and healthcare professionals believe that it leads to higher rates of dependency and addiction.
Even with these higher levels of THC, a majority of users dont develop an addiction to weed. Theyre able to use weed when they want to, and their use doesnt jeopardize their job, harm their relationships, or affect their quality of life.
Does Weed Cause Addiction
Consuming marijuana on a regular basis can cause something called cannabis use disorder.
If youve been smoking it for years on end, it might be very difficult to stop. Trying to quit this habit can cause a range of different withdrawal symptoms including a loss of appetite, irritability, insomnia, and anxiety.
Why Is Heroin So Dangerous
Heroin is a central nervous system depressant, which means that it also produces sedation. This is why heroin users talk about nodding off or going on the nod to refer to the deep drowsiness it produces. At high doses, heroin can slow the heart rate and respiration to a dangerous level, causing unconsciousness and death. In addition to the danger of overdose, heroin use can cause other serious health problems, including:
- Permanent chemical imbalances in the brain
- A deterioration in cognitive skills, such as decision-making and memory
- Chronic heart and lung problems
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What Are The Signs Of Marijuana Addiction
Cannabis dependence is much more common than dependence on other drugs due to the sheer number of people who use marijuana. The first step to overcoming marijuana addiction is to recognize that you have a problem and need help. Recognizing the signs of marijuana addiction can help you determine the severity of your problem.
Loss Of Interest In Activities
Someone who is addicted to marijuana will prioritize their drug use over other aspects of their life. They will likely cut back on activities that previously brought them joy or withdraw from them altogether.
A person with marijuana addiction may struggle to maintain healthy relationships with their friends and family if they withdraw from socializing in order to use the drug.
In addition, marijuana dependence has been linked with a lack of motivation. Someone who is addicted may lack the drive to engage in activities, pursue goals, or keep up with responsibilities, including school and work.
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How Marijuana Causes Addiction
When a person smokes pot, tetrahydrocannabinol , the active ingredient in marijuana, triggers a release of the feel-good chemical dopamine in the brain. Dopamine causes the euphoric sensations we recognize as the high. It also activates the brains reward pathways to remember the experience and repeat it.
Essentially, THC triggers a chemical cascade that conditions you to like pot and crave more.
Research indicates that younger people are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of marijuana, including dependence and addiction.
While one in 10 marijuana users will become addicted to the drug, that number rises to one in six for those who begin smoking pot before the age of 18. According to a 2012 study in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the risk of developing an addiction to marijuana is almost nonexistent after the age of 25.
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Coping With & Treating Cannabis Withdrawal Symptoms
A study published in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2017 revealed that around 300,000 Americans seek treatment for a cannabis use disorder. One option is to call the SAMSHA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP. It is also possible to speak with a doctor at a local health clinic about cannabis withdrawal.
According to NIH data, the average adult who looks for help to treat cannabis use disorder has used the substance almost every day for a decade. They have also attempted to quit at least six times on average.
Here are a few ways to try and cope with CWS.
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I Cant Become Addicted To Marijuana
Marijuana may not be as addictive as tobacco or heroin, but 1 in every 6 teens who ever try marijuana will become addicted to it. Just as with alcohol and tobacco, most chronic marijuana users who attempt to stop cold turkey will experience an array of withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, restlessness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and/or cravings. These are classic signs of dependency. Marijuana is about as addictive as alcohol. Teens are particularly vulnerable to addiction, since their brains are being primed and are under rapid development until age 25. So its no surprise that more youth are in treatment for marijuana dependence than for alcohol or any other drug combined.
Quitting Cold Turkey: Tips To Quitting
If you must stop smoking marijuana immediately at home, remember to surround yourself with a wide support network. In times of withdrawal and craving, having safe and healthy people around you can serve as a way to protect you against relapse. Here are some of our suggestions:
Though our tips for quitting marijuana cold turkey may help, your best option may be to reach out to a treatment provider that specializes in cannabis abuse treatment for professional guidance on how to quit. With the recovery expertise of a treatment provider, one can determine their best course of action when trying to stop using this drug.
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What Happens When We Overdose On Weed
Is it possible to overdose on weed? There havent been cases of overdosing and dying of marijuana, but since THC can produce some negative effects, it is definitely possible to overdose on THC and be in danger.
Everyone has a different tolerance level on weed, so its hard to say what dose will knock you off, but in general, very high doses are never a good idea.
Overdosing on weed causes a range of different symptoms, including rapid heartbeat, panic attacks, anxiety, and in some cause, nausea and vomiting.
The most severe side-effects include hallucinations and intense paranoia. Though no one died from weed overdose so far, you shouldnt compromise your health with unreasonably high doses.
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Heroin is a powerful opiate that has led many users to dependence and addiction. Though its unlikely that youll develop a full-blown addiction to heroin the first time you use it, that introductory experience can be the start of a compulsive cycle that quickly leads to addiction. The more frequently you use the drug, the more rapidly your brain and nervous system adjust to the chemical changes that it causes.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that nearly one-fourth of people who try heroin will become addicted. As of 2011, over 4 million Americans had tried the drug at least once. Simply put, if you never try heroin in the first place, you dont have to worry about becoming addicted to it.
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What To Do If Someone You Love Is Abusing Marijuana
If someone you love is abusing marijuana, they may be in denial about the drugs potency, or their addiction. Through open communication, you may be able to help them realize they need to quit using. Here are some reasons to quit marijuana:
- Physical reasons to stop smoking pot to feel better, reduce the risk of lung cancer, and be more energetic
- Psychological reasons to stop smoking pot to reduce anxiety, get back to being happy without pot, and reduce depression
- Relationship related reasons to stop smoking pot to get out of the relationship rut that comes from smoking too much pot, find new friends, and heal from the fights or pain that marijuana has caused you and your loved ones
- Financial reasons to stop smoking pot to free up the money spent on marijuana, so you have more money to spend, put into savings, or use to pay bills
- Legal reasons to stop smoking pot to stay out of trouble with the law
Addicted To Marijuana: Fact Or Fiction
We hate to break it to you, but chronic and/or prolonged marijuana use can, unfortunately, lead to physical dependence. And thats not an opinion at least not according to researchers who accumulated 30 years of data on human clinical and animal models.
In their 2011 academic publication, which was published in Oxford Universitys ILAR journal, scientists determined that:
chronic exposure to produces physical dependence, and may contribute to drug maintenance in cannabis-dependent individuals.
In other words, marijuana use can no doubt result in the body developing a physiological dependence on the presence of cannabinoids. This basic sentiment has been mirrored in several other studies as well, in addition to the National Institute on Drug Abuse , who claims that one in six teens who try marijuana will get addicted to it.
Moreover, according to a 2010 article published by Standford Medicine, the idea that cannabis can produce addiction and subsequent dependence is non-negotiable:
Among pharmacologists, the recognition that psychoactive drugs like marijuana can produce dependence is uncontroversial.
So, next time Jonny Stoner tries to argue with you til his Birkenstocks fall off that weed is totally non-addictive, bro, you can bust out some legit data to prove him otherwise.
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Is Marijuana A Gateway Drug
Social environment might be a more critical factor in determining someone’s risk for trying harder drugs.
If someone is vulnerable to getting involved with drugs, they generally start with substances that are readily available, such as alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana.
However, a person is also likely to start using the same substances that are used by the people in their social environment, no matter how addictive the drug.
Helping A Friend With Addiction
If you’re worried about a friend who has an addiction, you can use these tips to help him or her. For example, let your friend know that you are available to talk or offer your support. If you notice a friend backsliding, talk about it openly and ask what you can do to help.
If your friend is going back to drugs or drinking and won’t accept your help, don’t be afraid to talk to a nonthreatening, understanding adult, like your parent or school counselor. It may seem like you’re ratting your friend out, but it’s the best support you can offer.
Above all, offer a friend who’s battling an addiction lots of encouragement and praise. It may seem corny, but hearing that you care is just the kind of motivation your friend needs.
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Age People Begin Smoking
Experts are finding a link between the age you begin using cannabis and the likelihood that you’ll develop a dependence on it. One study found that people who used cannabis starting at age 14 to 15 had a higher probability of developing dependence. On the other hand, for those who started using cannabis after age 15, the risk of developing a dependence drastically decreased.
Another study found that those who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a cannabis use disorder later in life.
Which Treatment Options Are Available For Marijuana Addiction
Overcoming marijuana can be a difficult journey because you are already in a rut, you are probably anxious and depressed, you may have changed your social circle to one that revolves around smoking pot, and you have likely suffered various other problems as a result of your pot abuse, which will need to be addressed. Fortunately, there are many options for help when it comes to overcoming marijuana addiction and taking back control of your life:
Recovery from marijuana addiction is not something that you should try to tackle all on your own. In addition to seeking professional treatment, it is a good idea to have a support network of people who can help you through hard times and celebrate your successes with you. This support network can be made up of family and friends, fellow patients you meet in treatment, people you interact with at 12-step meetings, and even online support groups and forums.
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How Do You Know If You Have Cud
Do you use marijuana every day or almost every day? Have you tried to quit but canât? Do you get unwanted symptoms when you stop, like anxiety, crankiness, or trouble sleeping? Do those go away when you use marijuana again? Do you have a strong urge, or craving, to use it? Do you keep using it even though bad things happen, like problems at work, school, or with friends and family? If you answered yes to any of these, you may have CUD.
Using Despite Negative Consequences
Someone with a weed addiction may realize that their drug use is affecting them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Studies have found that some of these consequences include:
- Impaired memory
- Inability to fulfill work commitments
- Financial instability
Despite the negative influence their addiction has on their life, however, someone with cannabis use disorder will continue to use marijuana.
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Not Everyone Becomes Addicted But Some Can And Do
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Not everyone who smokes marijuana becomes addicted to it, but research shows that some long-term users can and do become dependent upon the drug.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people are considered addicted to if they continue to use even when it interferes with many aspects of their lives and if they have withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit.
The NIDA estimates that 9% of all marijuana users end up becoming dependent upon it.
For those users who began using marijuana in their teens, the percentage of those who become dependent goes to about 17%. For those who smoke marijuana daily, the number who become dependent ranges from 25% to 50%.
Additionally, a study of identical twins found that if one twin used marijuana before age 17, that twin was more likely to use other drugs and develop substance abuse problems later on, compared with their twin who did not start smoking pot early.
NIDA surveys also show that:
- In 2010, of the 7.1 million Americans abusing drugs, 4.5 million used marijuana.
- In 2009, approximately 18% of those seeking treatment for drug abuse reported marijuana as their primary drug.
- Also in 2009, 61% of persons receiving treatment under age 15 reported marijuana as their primary drug of abuse.
Cannabis Addiction Signs And Symptoms
Also commonly referred to as ‘marijuana’, ‘grass’ and ‘weed’, cannabis is a mixture of dried leaves, flowers and stems from the cannabis sativa plant and is the most commonly misused illegal substance in the UK. Cannabis is typically smoked, either in a cigarette form or via a pipe, while the drug may also be misused by brewing it in tea or cooking it in certain foods.
Cannabis affects your central nervous system to produce sensations including relaxation, mild euphoria, increased appetite and difficulties perceiving space and time. Many people mistakenly believe that cannabis is a safe or harmless substance, although if you misuse cannabis you expose yourself to both immediate harm and long-term damage, including the development of an addiction.
If you become addicted to cannabis, you will feel compelled to continue to misuse this substance, often in increasingly greater amounts, to the detriment to both your physical and mental health.
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Signs & Symptoms Tolerance
It is the first evidence of dependency. When one used it for the first time, a few puffs are enough to feel the effects. After prolonged use, it takes more breaths for you to feel the same impact. If one does not use the drug but starts experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, loss of appetite, and insomnia, it means dependency has set in.
Withdrawal symptoms often signify marijuana tolerance Use crosses the line when the body or brain rewards that use. Tolerance means that the body is rewarding excessive use of the drug. Conversely, withdrawal symptoms represent a negative response that rewards the use of the drug with a lack of side effects. This lesser feeling becomes something the addict anticipates.
If the user wishes to cut back on the number of times they use and then go against their intentions and smoke anyway is a sign that they are already addicted. If they decide to cut down, they always fail.
- If one is taking time from previously critical activities to get high.
- Suppose smoking weed has made the user stop taking care of their daily responsibilities, such as going to school. And they show less productivity it is a sign of deeper problems.